A Blade of Grass – Parallel Fields: Will Work For Food

A Blade of Grass
Parallel Fields: Will Work For Food

Wednesday, May 21, 2014
6 to 8pm


This conversation featured Daisy Chung, Executive Director, Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY) and Christina Sanchez Juarez, Artist, moderated by Elizabeth M. Grady, Programs Director, A Blade of Grass. It explored labor rights in the restaurant industry asking the questions: How can art and advocacy for workers' rights be coupled together most effectively? What does eating ethically mean? How can artistic strategies make labor practices better for everyone? What are the best methods for humanizing restaurant work, both for restaurant workers and for diners?


Daisy Chung is the Executive Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York (ROC-NY), a membership-based workers’ center organizing for improved conditions for New York City restaurant workers. Prior to her current position, she was an organizer and Associate Director at ROC-NY. Chung also has experience working on other campaigns and issues concerning low-wage workers, including advocacy for domestic workers, welfare rights, and prisoners' rights. Chung is a former restaurant worker and a graduate of CUNY Law School.

Christina Sanchez Juarez is an artist whose practice operates at the intersection of performance, community organizing, and popular education to investigate how collectivity and the arts can merge to acknowledge the issues of the working poor and bring about social change. In 2011 she co-founded the Break+Pausa project as a long-term, Los Angeles-based artistic and culinary inquiry into the lives of immigrant restaurant workers. Her most recent project, Cocina Abierta, in which she collaborates with community chefs Cayetano Juarez and Oakland Bautista, is a nomadic experimental “test kitchen” that facilitates the fluid exchange of immigrant histories, culinary skills, and base building strategies, towards the development of a worker-centered philosophy to eating ethically.

Parallel Fields is a discussion series that pairs an artist and a non-artist, both of whose work is socially engaged, to discuss with an audience how different professions are connected.